When we talk about safe sex, we’re really talking about safer sex – because all sex comes with some risk. No type of sex with a partner is guaranteed to be 100% safe, but you can greatly reduce your risk by practicing protection and prevention.
When it comes to protection, condoms are still the most effective way to prevent STDs. They protect you by preventing contact with bodily fluids, like semen or vaginal fluids, that can transmit an infection.
Condoms can usually last a while in storage but they do have expiration dates, so you should check the packaging on your condom before using it. It’s also important to know that condoms can break down when they are stored improperly, like in a wallet or a pocket. The constant friction can create holes or microscopic tears in it which will make it much less effective at preventing STDs. Keep your condoms in a place like your bag or a purse!
Richmond City Health District offers many brands to choose from including Magnum, ONE, Atlas and Rough Rider condoms – all for free! You can pick them up for free anytime you during their weekday business hours (8:00A-5:00P).
Getting regularly tested for STDs is a basic part of taking care of your health. It is one of the most effective tools at stopping the spread of STDs – and the only way to know if you have an STD for sure. And if you do have an STD, it’s better to find out early so that you can get treated and prevent the spread of it to other people.
It can be a bonding experience for you and your partner to get tested together, and demonstrate that you care about each other by protecting yourself.
The sooner you find out you have an STD, the sooner you can get the care you need to stay healthy. Stop by our Testing Tuesday clinic, or check out the other free testing sites that our community members offer in the Richmond area.
PrEP is an anti-HIV medication that stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. Taken daily, it can reduce HIV risk by up to 99%. Learn more about PrEP and how you can get it through Richmond City Health District here!